Brinsley Forde is is almost certainly best known as a founder member of Aswad, one of the UK’s biggest reggae bands. Along with Angus ‘Drummie Zeb’ Gaye and Tony ‘Gad’ Robinson, Forde was the band’s principle song writer until his departure in 1996. The band released over 20 albums and scored a British number one chart hit with ‘Don’t Turn Around’ in 1988. Although originally influenced by Jamaican roots reggae, Aswad forged their own identity, writing songs that dealt with the issues surrounding the experiences of black youth growing-up in the UK such as ‘Three Babylon’, ‘It’s Not Our Wish’ and the powerful jazz-influenced instrumental ‘Warrior Charge’.
As well as his musical cv, Forde is also a noted actor and presenter. He first appeared on television in the children’s series, The Double Deckers, and has over the years appeared in several movies and TV dramas. Forde presented VH1 Soul Vibrations, BBC’s Ebony & Ebony on the road, and was one of the radio presenters to open the BBC’s first digital station 6 Music with his radio show Lively Up Yourself and Dub Bashment. Forde can be heard presenting the radio documentaries Behind The Smile: The Real Life of Bob Marley and Island Rock to mark the 40th anniversary of Jamaican independence. Forde was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to the arts.
Brinsley Forde will be appearing at this year’s Wilkswood Reggae Festival complete with a full band to close the main festival events on the Sunday night.